Macromedia Flash Content May Facilitate Cross-Site Scripting Via the 'clickTAG'
SecurityTracker Alert ID: 1006563|
SecurityTracker URL: http://securitytracker.com/id/1006563
(Links to External Site)
Updated: Apr 4 2004|
Original Entry Date: Apr 14 2003
Disclosure of authentication information, Disclosure of user information, Execution of arbitrary code via network, Modification of user information|
Fix Available: Yes Vendor Confirmed: Yes |
A vulnerability was reported in various Macromedia Flash applications (not in the player itself). A malicious web page could cause Flash content to execute arbitrary scripting code.|
SecuriTeam announced a Scan Security Wire report of a vulnerability in some Macromedia Flash applications.
As a feature of Flash, an advertising network can supply a 'clickTAG' tracking code to a Flash-based advertisement. The Flash player itself does not validate the clickTAG, so Flash-based application content must perform the validation.
A remote user can access the target user's cookies (including authentication cookies), if any, associated with the site hosting the vulnerable Flash content, access data recently submitted by the target user via web form to the site, or take actions on the site acting as the target user.|
The vendor states that a new player version is not required, as this is a vulnerability in some Flash content and not in the player.|
The vendor advises that Macromedia Flash advertisements that accept clickTAGs must be written to validate the input. In particular, the vendor recommends that the clickTAG URL begins with the string "http:".
For more information from the vendor, see their advisory at:
Vendor URL: www.macromedia.com/support/flash/ts/documents/clicktag_security.htm (Links to External Site)
Input validation error|
|Underlying OS: Linux (Any), UNIX (Any), Windows (Any)|
Source Message Contents
Subject: [NEWS] Misuse of Macromedia Flash Ads clickTAG Option May Lead to Privacy Breach|
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Misuse of Macromedia Flash Ads clickTAG Option May Lead to Privacy Breach
"Over 497 million Internet users now use Macromedia Flash Player to
seamlessly view content created with Macromedia Flash, the solution for
developing rich Internet content and applications."
A vulnerability discovered in Macromedia Flash ad user tracking field
allows a remote user to perform Cross-Site-Scripting attacks and retrieve
About the 'clickTAG' option:
Macromedia flash supplies user-tracking field to swf (flash movies) ads:
"The clickTAG is the tracking code assigned by the ad serving network to
an individual ad. The clickTAG allows the network to register where the ad
was displayed when it was clicked on. This click through data is reported
to the ad serving servers so advertisers may determine the effectiveness
of their campaign.
The code below will allow ad serving networks to dynamically assign a
clickTAG to their ad.
In this example, a getURL action is being assigned to a button that will
navigate the browser to ["clickTAG"]. The "getURL(clickTAG)" statement
appends the variable data passed in via the OBJECT EMBED tag and navigates
the browser to that location. It is the tracking code assigned by the ad
serving network, which allows them to register a user's click on that
http://adnetwork.com/tracking?http://www.destinationURL.com" > ..."
The information was taken from Macromedia designer's guide:
Vulnerability in the clickTAG field enables a remote user to run malicious
retrieve session information and possibly other sensitive information.
For example in the following script:
("XXXX" = arbitrary script or tag)
Replacing "XXXX" with a script to steal cookies will enable an attacker to
perform session hijacking if the session is saved in the cookie, or to
gain the private information present in ad tracking cookies.
"A new player version is NOT required. Macromedia Flash advertisements
that accept clickTAGs need to validate that the clickTAG URL begins with
"http:". This helps ensure the clickTAG does not contain malicious code."
Quote from the official Macromedia security advisory.
We recommend that all user input should be filtered for malicious code and
characters and never trusted "as-is".
We would like to thank Macromedia for its prompt response and cooperation
for solving this issue.
Macromedia quickly acted to notify possibly affected sites and has
released an official security announcement, which can be found at:
Macromedia has also revised the Designer's Guide and added this note:
"Note: The ActionScript in this Flash advertisement is verifying that the
clickTAG URL begins with "http:". This is an important security measure.
If you do not take this precaution, a malicious HTML page could source
scripting pseudo-protocol. If your ActionScript code were to call getURL
site serving the malicious HTML page to obtain the contents of your HTTP
cookies or perform other actions on your site's behalf."
The vulnerability was reported by Scan Security Wire
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